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Ely is fast becoming the ‘Bollywood of the Fens’. One week they are filming ‘Macbeth’ here or ‘Elizabeth the First’ there. If it’s not ‘Jupiter’ then it’s the ‘King’s Speech’. Now it’s ‘Lawrence of Arabia’!! Just when you thought it was safe to go down the High Street without paparazzi leaping out from behind the Cathedral, what happens but a huge Saharan dust storm descends on us. I’m convinced I saw two camels and Omar Sharif on the Market Square yesterday. Those special effects or SFX people are good, how much sand did they drop into Ely for goodness sake? I went out to what I thought was my beautifully clean car to discover that in addition to the now obligatory 6 kilos of raptor guano on my soft top I now have 200cwt of ‘red dust’ draped over the vehicle. Add to that the local farmers’ top soil detritus and I have a car that looks as though it has just made it through the Dakar rally! No wonder we have as many car cleaning businesses in and around Ely. I’m not surprised that supply has not yet exceeded demand and doesn’t look set to for a few years to come. God forbid we get a hosepipe ban this year and I will have a car that looks like something from Mad Max (no doubt Ely will figure in the remake of that gem too!).

Once again our chum David Clark sent us a fantastic photo of a sign saying ‘Welcome to Ely’ which in 1887 was located across Station Road to celebrate the County Agricultural Show. I wonder if Peter O’Toole poled up on a camel?

Thank goodness some things go unblemished namely the beautiful blossoming tree outside of Price Bailey offices. Have a look at our Facebook page and you will see what I mean. Thankfully no visible signs of the dreaded ‘red dust’ there.

Visit Your Ely Facebook page to see a wonderful painting of the Fens produced by Natasha Day who was at Tindalls on Saturday 5th April inspiring others to paint marvellous landscapes with everyday items found around the home e.g. bubble wrap, roller sponges, household paint brushes etc. Look closely and you might spot the odd dromedary camel walking mysteriously on the horizon!

Finally our thanks go to that splendid chap Michael at Ely Computers who sent us another LNER poster featuring Ely. This was part of a series by LNER featuring Norman Architecture and can be viewed on our Facebook page too.

Now then, who can object to a bit of soot from a steam train; at least it’s not a white out from a desert sandstorm. Who’d have thought it eh?